When you have a HUGE basil plant, you want to make the most of this yummy herb. We’ve used basil for almost everything: caprese salads, roasted vegetables, roasted meats, stews, soups, salads…and of course, basil pesto! The recipe is super simple and I always make it up as I go. It’s usually 2 cups of fresh basil, 1/4 cup of olive oil, a handful of almonds or walnuts or pine nuts (toasted if possible), some lemon juice, salt and pepper. Nothing super fancy and you can always add more oil if you want. I tend to use less oil, though, and substitute water to make the mixture a little more runny and less thick so it comes out like a dressing. The best part about pesto is that you can freeze it in little ice cube trays, and defrost whenever you want to use it! I had made some basil pesto a long time ago and decided to bust it out to use for a real easy pesto chicken salad. I picked up something called “Lemonaise” from Whole Foods, which is an all natural mayo mixed with spices and herbs and sooooo good, and decided to use it in the salad as well. If you’re a fan of mayo, or rich and heavy tasting flavors (like me!) then try out this recipe:
3-oz chicken breast
1 tablespoon of pesto (you can use more or a teeny bit less if you want)
1 tablespoon of Lemonaise (or mayo if you can’t find Lemonaise at your local health foods store)
Salt and pepper
Spike seasoning (optional)
1 stalk of celery, chopped finely
*Mix everything together and top on a bed of fresh greens like romaine or spinach.